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Global Trade Practices

This guide is intended to help students identify important resources and search tools.

Sources and Search Issues

Here are issues to keep in mind regarding sources and search techniques: 

  • Free v. fee
    Some sources are free to everyone on the Internet. Others are available for a fee, such as so many dollars per article or so much for a particular report. In some cases, Rod Library subscribes to some sources, and they are therefore free to UNI students and employees. An article which is not free at the publisher website may be free to UNI through a Rod Library database. Rod Library offers a service called "Interlibrary Loan" which can be used to obtain copies of articles or books. There's a link to the Interlibrary Loan request form on the left side of the Rod Library home page.
     
  • Suitability of a source for a given assignment
    After finding a source that deals with the company or market you are studying, consider whether the source type is good enough to use. Does the professor allow the use of the source type? Does the source provide authoritative, objective information? Articles from general sources such as Wikipedia are useful for background information and the other sources they point to.
     
  • Google search results: what is it?
    Search results can include press releases from a company, a paper done by a high school or college student, a fake web page intended to undermine, and so on. Before using a given source, try to determine the author and the author's qualifications, point of view, and overall quality of the site.
     
  • Watch for sources of additional information
    An article may mention important sources of more information in its reference list or in the text of the article.
     
  • Company name searches
    Different companies can have very similar names - make sure you're researching the right company. If a company name has unusual features such as dashes, asterisks, or odd spacing, watch out. Different databases handle such issues in different ways; so if there's a dash in a company name, for example, you may need to try the search with and without the dash.
     
  • Brand name versus product type versus a company name
    Keep in mind the difference between brand names, product types, and companies: Budweiser, beer, Anheuser-Busch
     
  • Searching for exact phrases to get more precise results
    Many databases require putting words in quotes to retrieve the exact phrase: "target market"
     
  • Narrowing and broadening searches
    It may be necessary to alter search terms and logic after seeing initial results. Searches can be narrowed, for example, by requiring that terms be in article titles or broadened by looking anywhere in the full text of articles for the terms.
     
  • Where to get search terms?
    Your own knowledge of a topic, terms used by a professor in lectures and class documents, the textbook, terms used by authors of documents you like, and in business subject thesauri. In addition, business and international marketing dictionaries and encyclopedias can help to understand and select appropriate terms.